Samphire Project SA
Alligator completed the acquisition of the Samphire uranium project near Whyalla in South Australia following an in favor EGM conducted on the 1st October 2020. The project acquisition represents a significant value step in the current market and a further quality asset to Alligator’s project portfolio.
Samphire Project Location
The project has an existing 47Mlb in uranium resources as outlined below:
- Blackbush Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (JORC 2012) comprising 64.5 million tonnes at a grade of 230ppm eU3O8 containing 14,850 t (32.7 mill lbs) U3O8 at a 100ppm cut-off grade1;
- Plumbush Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (stated in compliance with JORC 2004) of 21.8 million tonnes at grade of 292ppm eU3O8, containing 6,300t (13.9Mlbs) of mineralisation at a 100ppm eU3O8 cut-off grade2;
- Exploration Target – Host geology and anomalism extend beyond the current known mineralisation envelope with uranium intercepts obtained in drill holes up to 3km distant.
1. See ASX:USA release 27 Sept 2013 for which the Competent Persons were Mr Russell Bluck and Mr Marco Scardigno.
2. This information was prepared and first disclosed under the JORC Code 2004. It has not been updated since to comply with the JORC Code 2012 on the basis that the information has not materially changed since it was last reported. See ASX:USA release 27 Sept 2013 and 1 Oct 2019 Samphire Annual Report for which the Competent Persons were Mr Russell Bluck and Mr Marco Scardigno. Refer also to Cautionary Statement Appendix 1 in ASX release 11/07/2020.
Alligator staff and consultants commenced the undertaking of an initial high level desk top scoping study and exploration review to determine the best value-add propositions for the newly acquired project in the near-term future. A summary of this work includes:
- Previous testwork and modern advances in resins indicate the project is highly amenable to In-Situ Recovery (ISR) production, with updated ANSTO testwork planned
- An updated and improved flowsheet for uranium extraction / processing was established based on the consistent higher grade portion of the Blackbush resource
- Initial OPEX and CAPEX cost estimates were established that were competitive with similar ISR operations – these will be confirmed and disclosed in the next phase of work
- Due to the Blackbush resource being currently 100% inferred, ASX guidelines do not allow the publication of forward-looking financial figures / statements at this stage
- Extensive review of previous exploration confirmed the high quality of existing work with over 790 historic drill holes totalling over 58,000m, mainly focused on the Blackbush and Plumbush resources
- Interpretation of existing electromagnetic geophysical data has identified a series of prospective palaeochannel continuations from the Blackbush deposit for immediate follow up drilling.
The full release detailing this initial desk top study and exploration review can be found here.
Next Steps – Samphire 2021 Exploration:
Considering the positive results from this trial survey, the decision was taken to expand this data over the broader Blackbush deposit. This work was scheduled to be completed during April in conjunction with a passive seismic survey.
Existing passive seismic data at Samphire shows that it is a beneficial survey technique to refine the target Kanaka bed palaeochannels which host mineralisation at the Blackbush deposit. Additional passive seismic lines will be conducted to refine both channels within the existing Blackbush resource along with refining regional targets highlighted from existing electromagnetic (EM) data.
Upon analysis and interpretation of the data collected from the follow up geophysics, the draft Exploration Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (E-PEPR) will be revised and submitted to allow for planned drilling works to commence in Q3 2021.
The 2021 drilling is targeting three distinct opportunities and will entail Rotary Mud, and Sonic drilling techniques and will be structured as follows:
- Up to 20 rotary mud holes to approximately 100m (up to 2,000 metres total) to test resource upgrade opportunities within the existing Blackbush deposit
- Up to 20 rotary mud holes to approximately 100m (up to 2,000 metres total) to test extensional distal targets from the Blackbush deposit
- At least six sonic drill holes, up to 100m each (600m total) at the Blackbush deposit. This will obtain suitable samples to allow up-to-date test work by ANSTO on uranium recovery through leaching using modern high chloride tolerant resins and detailed ion exchange evaluation, in addition to multi element geochemistry. A proposal for works to be conducted by ANSTO has been received as part of Inception Consulting Engineers report and will be undertaken following future drilling.
Finalisation of contractor engagement to complete this program will be completed in the upcoming quarter.
Next Steps – Samphire 2021 Processing Testwork
A detailed uranium leach and resin recovery testwork program will be carried out in conjunction with Inception Consulting Engineers and ANSTO.
Based on these results, further processing flowsheet optimisation and evaluation work will be undertaken at a level that will update the Desktop Study to a Scoping Study level and feed into any potential resource upgrade.
Additional evaluation of a loaded resin intermediate product and transport options will be undertaken, along with more detailed full plant design and costings.